Articles by

Bethany Erickson

02/17/19 9:00am

caponeIt was his first home in Chicago, and his mother lived there until her death, and in 2019, you could own a slice of Al Capone history for practically a song.

“I came to Chicago with $40 in my pocket,” Alphonse Gabriel Capone said once, and not long after that he began working for mobster Johnny Torrio. Not long after that, he and his family moved into the six bedroom, two apartment Park Manor home located at 7244 South Prairie Ave.

“This was the Chicago home of Al Capone and Family. Al Capone and family began to move into the place on August 8,1923,” explained listing agent Ryan Smith with Re/Max Properties. “The ownership was under Mae and Theresa Capone.”

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02/16/19 9:00am

Photo courtesy Wikimedia Commons

Editor’s Note: Recently, MoneyWise revealed its list of the 40 most frugal and friendly places to retire. In a bid to provide an idea of what housing inventory is available in these cities and towns, we’re taking a look at listings in each of the cities on the list.

Not everyone can spend $1 million or more on a second home, even if it’s with the idea that eventually you’ll retire there. So when MoneyWise’s list of 40 places to retire that are more budget-friendly came out, we were curious — what kind of homes could you find in these towns?

Last week, we looked at the 27th city on the list — Charleston, South Carolina. This week, we look at Springfield, Missouri, and found three great homes — all for less than $350,000.

“Springfield is an inexpensive place to live: the median income is around $34,000, and rent can be less than $700 per month,” MoneyWise said. “Median home prices come in at just over $100,000.”

“You will see some snow in the winter and summers can be hot, but not extreme. The city has three hospitals, as well as extensive home care offerings.”

Want to see examples of what you can find in Springfield? Let’s jump! (more…)

02/10/19 9:00am

AspenWhile the house itself may look a bit different from when John Denver and his wife Annie bought it in the 1970s, the Aspen estate still has the views that inspired him to write “Starwood in Aspen.”

The local couple that bought the home in 2016 put the home on the market last month, after doing extensive remodeling, telling the Denver Business Journal that they installed new floors, and replaced the windows and the roof. They took pains to save the fireplaces, stained-glass work, copper sinks and fixtures, and the cabinetry, which was refinished and, in places, repurposed.

Denver purchased the home, and expanded it while he lived there. (more…)

02/09/19 9:00am

CharlestonEditor’s Note: Recently, MoneyWise revealed its list of the 40 most frugal and friendly places to retire. In a bid to provide an idea of what housing inventory is available in these cities and towns, we’re taking a look at listings in each of the cities on the list.

Not everyone can spend $1 million or more on a second home, even if it’s with the idea that eventually you’ll retire there. So when MoneyWise’s list of 40 places to retire that are more budget-friendly came out, we were curious — what kind of homes could you find in these towns?

Last week, we looked at the 28th city on the list — Tampa, Florida. This week, we look at Charleston, South Carolina, and found three great homes — all for less than $500,000.

“You can live comfortably in Charleston on an income of around $55,000, and the median price of homes is about $250,000,” MoneyWise said. “In Charleston, you will have access to beaches, excellent restaurants, and plenty of outdoor fitness activities.”

“The summers can be hot, but winters are relatively tame. The city also boasts two hospitals and eight healthcare centers.”

Want to see examples of what you can find in Charleston? Let’s jump! (more…)

02/03/19 9:00am

chapelThis week’s historical shelter takes us to the village of North Lopham, Norfolk, England, where a Methodist chapel built in 1826 shows us that you can never, ever, judge a book by its cover.

The former chapel that once contained three bays, is now an open floor plan sitting on a little more than a half acre of land. And as you know, we’re suckers for a good church conversion.

Listed by Bedfords, the 2,245 square foot conversion takes advantage of the grand proportions you’d expect of a chapel, creating a light-filled interior that is anything but stuffy. Curved walls were designed intentionally to draw the eye up.

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02/02/19 10:00am

Editor’s Note: Recently, MoneyWise revealed its list of the 40 most frugal and friendly places to retire. In a bid to provide an idea of what housing inventory is available in these cities and towns, we’re taking a look at listings in each of the cities on the list.

Not everyone can spend $1 million or more on a second home, even if it’s with the idea that eventually you’ll retire there. So when MoneyWise’s list of 40 places to retire that are more budget-friendly came out, we were curious — what kind of homes could you find in these towns?

Last week, we looked at the 29th city on the list — Wichita Falls, Texas. This week, we look at Tampa, Florida, and found three great homes — all for less than $500,000.

“Tampa is located in a protected ocean inlet, so it is less susceptible to the harsh weather problems beach communities tend to have,” MoneyWise said. “Sunny Tampa is also home to a diverse population of about 350,000, and the cost of living requires an income of around $44,000.”

“With two hospitals and 17 health care centers, you can count on getting high-quality medical care in Tampa.”

Want to see examples of what you can find in Tampa? Let’s jump! (more…)

01/30/19 9:00am

Peter PanIt’s not every day that the estate of Peter Pan (or at least someone who played Peter Pan) hits the market, but when we saw this Norwalk, Connecticut listing from Holly Giordano, we knew we had to share.

In her Peter Pan, Nellie Forbush, Annie Oakley heyday, it’s not hard to imagine that Broadway legend (and Weatherford, Texas native, and mother to JR Ewing himself, Larry Hagman) Mary Martin needing a quiet place to kick back.

And this incredible three-bedroom, three-and-a-half bath, 3,160 square foot home sitting on more than two acres of rolling, lush grass would certainly do the trick.

But the home has a bit more history than just Martin — it was built not long after the U.S. won its independence from England. And its current owner has taken pains to marry the historical with the entertaining spaces Martin undoubtedly appreciated, along with the modern touches homeowners nowadays come to expect.

This ‘wow’ house was originally built in 1790 by Epenetus Kellogg then brought today’s high standards by recent home owner Helen Barr of Barr and Barr Bags,” said Giordano, who is with William Pitt Sotheby’s International Realty.

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01/27/19 9:00am

RiversideHe designed 33 homes in Riverside, California, and the one acclaimed architect Robert Spurgeon Jr. built for his parents, Robert Sr. and Lillian, is now up for grabs.

Riverside, albeit landlocked in the Inland Empire, is actually an ideal second home location for a few factors — it’s an easy hour drive to the beach, and less than 45 minutes to Disneyland, for one. It’s also home to Fairmount Park, an urban oasis with a stocked pond that is a refuge to several species of birds — and designed by the firm of Frederick Law Olmstead, who designed New York’s Central Park.

And back in the day (in fact, when we say “back in the day” in this case, we mean exactly around the time Spurgeon built this home), Riverside’s close proximity to Hollywood, along with all its interesting architecture, made it one of the frequent spots film studios would pick for the perfect scenery for their movies, including the 1919 film Boots, starring Dorothy Gish.

On days you don’t want to drive to the beach or Disneyland, there is still plenty to do closer to home. The California Citrus State Park (Riverside is believed to be the birthplace of California’s citrus industry) provides ranger-led tours, fruit tastings, and more.

You can also tour the historic Mission Inn, and hike up to Mount Rubidoux, and the University of California Riverside offers 39 acres of botanic gardens, plus several museums.

From left: Robert Spurgeon Sr., Lillian, granddaughter Gloria, daughter Grace, and Robert Spurgeon, Jr. Right: An early photo of the home Spurgeon designed for his parents (Photo courtesy Evergreen Memorial Historic Cemetery).

It was this town that the Spurgeon family ended up settling in, living before in Chicago, New York, and Denver. His parents moved there not long after the younger Sturgeon returned to the country after serving in World War II, to assist his sister after her husband died. He joined the rest of the family not long after that, eventually building homes and properties all over Riverside, including the employee homes for Pinkerton Detective heir Allan Pinkerton, the rebuilding of the Porter House, and the Elijah Parker House. (more…)